Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, February 1, 1999

To find a friend, be a friend


Once there was a goose named Big Boy. He was a very big goose.

Big Boy lived on a farm with ducks and other animals. On this farm there was also a dog named Big Ears.

Big Ears didn't like Big Boy, or any of the other animals on the farm. He would chase Big Boy whenever he saw him.

One time, he caught Big Boy by the neck and if the other animals on the farm wouldn't have been there to help him, Big Boy would probably have ended up a dead goose.

The ducks and the goose would try to stay far away from Big Ears. If he started to chase them, they would run into the lake. They were safe there because Big Ears was very afraid of the water.

One day, Big Boy decided he was tired of having to run away from the dog. He thought he would try to reason with Big Ears.

As he waddled over to the dog, Big Ears hollered, "Don't come any closer or I will ring your neck."

"Big Ears, I just want to talk to you," Big Boy answered from a safe distance. "The ducks and I want to be your friends."

Big Ears just laughed at the goose.

"Why do you think I would want you for a friend?" he laughed.

"Well, friends are very important," Big boy told him. "Someday, you may need someone to help you and you will be glad to have a friend."

"I'll never need your help," Big Ears laughed.

Big Boy turned to go back to the ducks by the lake. Then he looked back and saw Big Ears coming right for him.

Big Boy ran as fast as his legs could carry him and swam into the water and out into the middle of the lake. To his surprise, Big Ears jumped into the lake, too.

All of a sudden, Big Ears disappeared into the water. His head popped up in the water, then it went under, popped up and went under.

"Oh no," Big Boy said, "Big Ears is drowning."

The ducks and the goose quickly swam over to Big Ears and grabbed onto his ears with their beaks. They pulled him back to shore, where they found that his legs had become tangled in fishing line. They all worked together to help him get loose and Big Ears crawled up onto the shore.

"Why did you save me?" he asked in surprise.

"Why, we couldn't let a friend die," Big Boy answered.

"You would do that for me? After, all I've done?" Big Ears asked. He thought for a moment.

"Well, I guess I will be your friend," Big Ears said.

After that, Big Ears was kind to all of the animals on the farm and they all lived together very happily.

Sometimes friends can help you if you get into trouble. It is nice to try to be friends with everyone you meet.

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